News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday May 08, 2013.
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T-Mobile waited nearly six years before it began selling the Apple iPhone, but the fourth-place carrier hit the ground running when it started offering the iPhone last month. Since April 12, the company sold the iPhone 5 to approximately 500,000 customers. Achieving that many sales in less than one month shows that there was a high level of pent-up demand for Apple smartphones.
T-Mobile often blamed its lack of offering the iPhone for its inability to stop massive customer losses in previous quarters. The addition of Apple phones to its device portfolio was seen as a way to stem the tide of departures when the company announced plans to adjust its contract system and carry the iPhone. In the first quarter of 2013, T-Mobile had net contract losses of 199,000 customers, a 61 percent improvement compared to losses during the same period last year. Strong prepaid additions and customers added through its MVNO connections led to a total net customer addition of 579,000 customers.
Adding the iPhone and expanding its 4G services are seen as the key to powering T-Mobile's rebound efforts. The carrier has so far delivered 4G LTE in seven markets, but it expects to reach nearly a third of the U.S. population this summer. T-Mobile's HSPA+ on 1900 MHz spectrum, which provides 4G download speeds even on iPhones that have been unlocked from AT&T, reaches areas that cover 170 million people and will reach 200 million by the end of the year.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.